Dispensaries are like dinosaurs. I predict they will meet their extinction when they become replaced by older, bigger, and more powerful dinosaurs: drug stores.
To understand the basis for this prediction, we must analyze the global cannabis movement outside the United States. One must also believe cannabis is medicine despite its prevalent recreational use, which is known to only a relatively small percentage of the world’s population.
Advertisement Canadian medical marijuana market
Although young, the Canadian market is one of the most advanced markets outside the U.S. In October 2018, Walmart Canada announced it is exploring distributing cannabis. If Walmart decides to take the leap, Recall, IDA, Guardian, and Drug Mart—Canada’s largest pharmacy chains—likely will follow suit in order to compete with the international retail behemoth. The massive distribution network already in place and serving 99 percent of the Canadian population, coupled with political and financial lobbying power should the drugstores wish to distribute cannabis, would eliminate the need for dispensaries.
Reaching the level of efficiency pharmacy chains’ infrastructures already offer would require dispensaries spend tens of billions of dollars over decades. Even large dispensary chains would not be able to compete due to operating expenses needed to maintain their establishments. Large dispensaries would, at best, be considered mom-and-pop and boutique shops.
If legislation permits social consumption lounges, dispensaries would be wise to add that type of service and provide an experience similar to the lounges seen in the Netherlands. They should begin making those plans now.
Cultivators take on Big Pharma
As for cultivators, a pharmaceutical takeover would reduce costs and sales efforts because buyers for drugstore chains would hold large inventories. As one of Nevada’s largest cultivators, I would be happy to reduce my dealings with more than 100 dispensaries, each with its own model and